Menu

Do you get an error like “Not enough ETH to send” when trying to send ERC-20 tokens? This means that you do not have enough Ether (ETH) to cover the cost of gas (Gas).

MetaMask, Ledger, My Ether Wallet, Exodus, or any other wallet. To send tokens, you must have ETH in your wallet. This allows you to cover the transaction fee.

When transferring Ethereum, you can pay with a commission of ETH. But why is ETH needed when sending ERC-20 tokens? Can I not pay a commission with the tokens I transfer?

For those who are just getting started with ETH ERC 20 tokens, as well as Ethereum, all this may seem too confusing. In this article, we will explain why it becomes necessary to use Ether in the case of transferring ERC-20 tokens.

Ethereum transaction fees

To begin with, let’s assume that there is no transaction fee. Everyone is capable of transacting on the Ethereum network. What will happen in such a case?

The network will be overwhelmed with millions of transactions, which in the end will simply “clog it”. You can avoid this phenomenon as simply as possible – introduce a commission for the transaction. It is the transaction fee that is the only motivation for miners to inсlude your transaction in the block.

Whatever the change in the state of the network, regardless of the operation you perform, whether it is the transfer of ERC-20 tokens or Ethereum, the deployment of a smart contract, or the execution of a smart contract function, in any case, you need to pay a fee in Ether. The thing is that in Ethereum, the transaction fee is usually measured in shares of Ethereum, that is, in units of gas.

In this case, a logical question arises. Do I need ETH to receive ETH or ERC-20 tokens?

Do I need ETH to receive (deposit)?

The answer is no! To receive any ERC-20 or Ethereum tokens in your wallet, you do not need to hold ETH. However, to transfer ERC-20 tokens or send ETH from your wallet, you will need ETH for gas. It should be understood that the transaction fee is paid only by the sender, and not by the recipient.

Suppose you need to send tokens from wallet #1 to wallet #2. In this case, you will need to pay a fee. If someone else wishes to send the token to your Ethereum address, the sender must pay the fee.

In this case, you do not need to have ETH to store tokens in your wallet. But we recommend that you make sure that there is enough Ethereum in the wallet to pay the commission (gas fee) if you want to withdraw these tokens from your wallet in the future.

Why do I need Ethereum to send ERC-20 tokens?

Allowing people to pay fees in ERC-20 tokens makes sense. But in reality, this is not so.
ERC-20 is a blockchain asset. Just like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, they can store and transfer value. But the key difference is that they do not have their blockchain.

ERC-20 tokens are tokens based on Ethereum. In practice, they are created and placed on the Ethereum blockchain.

Tether (USDT), Aave (LEND), Compound, Chain Link (LINK), OMG, 0x (ZRX), Maker (MKR), Basic Attention Token (BAT), DAI, and YFI are just some of the more popular ERC-20 tokens, which were developed on the Ethereum blockchain.

At this point, thousands of Ethereum-based tokens (ERC-20) have already been created on the Ethereum blockchain. They all use the same technology.

Since the ERC 20 token runs on the Ethereum blockchain, they are stored in an Ethereum address. Accordingly, any transactions are carried out exclusively on the Ethereum network. Since the tokens work on the Ethereum blockchain, the transaction fees have to be paid in Ethereum, and not in these tokens.

ETH transactions require gas

All operations on the Ethereum blockchain require a certain amount of gas, whether it is the execution of a smart contract or a simple Ethereum transaction. For any transaction, you need gas (Gas). It is paid in ETH, as a rule, part of the Ether is called gas.

The essence of the concept of gas, gas price (GWEI) and gas limit in Ethereum is quite complicated and is beyond the scope of this article.
For now, all you need to understand is that if the Ethereum balance is too low or zero, you will not be able to transfer ERC-20 tokens. Therefore, it is always important to have a certain amount of Ether in your wallet to cover the cost of a transaction.

You can use https://ethgasstation.info to check the current recommended transaction fees.

*Links to third-party resources and sites are provided for educational purposes only and are advisory. They are not required to be used.

"Online" mode
10.12.2022, 08:33